Holiday Baking Tips


baking soda and baking powder


For the upcoming holidays many of us will spend hours in the kitchen baking.  Oftentimes we’re whipping together ingredients in a hurry to bring to a party or have at our own parties.  There’s nothing worse than creating what you know is a wonderful cake or batch of cookies, only to have it sink or be flat as a pancake. 


What do you do if this happens?

The question should be: How to avoid this from happening to you? 


All cakes and cookies use baking powder, baking soda or a combination of both. Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents, which means they are added to baked goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide causing them to rise. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are used under different conditions. 


If the baking powder or baking soda goes bad your product won’t rise – not a good thing when company is coming in 30 minutes.


I bake a lot, but even still the container of baking soda and baking powder are larger than what I typically will go through in 12-18 months – about the time these will lose their potency.  When in doubt, to insure that your containers are still good, before ruining a 3 layer cake or batch of cookies, perform this simple test.  It could make a huge difference on the success of your party.

Watch this brief video then follow the directions below.


Baking Soda Test:


Baking soda is meant to produce bubbles when mixed with an acidic ingredient. Check baking soda by dripping a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice onto a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. The baking soda should bubble vigorously. If you don’t see a lot of bubbles, it’s time to replace your baking soda.


Baking Powder Test:


Baking powder is activated by a combination of heat and moisture. Test baking powder by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/3 cup hot water. If the baking powder is fresh, the mixture should produce lots of bubbles. Be sure to use warm or hot water;cold water will not work for this test.


I hope this holiday season your home is filled with the sweet smell of baked goods and all rise to the occasion!


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  1. Thank you so much for sharing all the tips! I find them very helpful.

  2. Great tips, Vicki!!! I replace both of mine many times a year…just in case 🙂

  3. Good tips. We always replace both of these at least once a year. Because you never know!

    • I usually check the date and if it’s getting close I’ll pitch it or test it. However, my baking soda container doesn’t have an expiration date on it. You’re right you just never know.

  4. Thanks Vicki, we all need reminders about this stuff. It’s so sad to waste good ingredients!

  5. These are some awesome tips 😀


  6. Great tips, Vicki! I go through mine quite fast, but I still buy new to make sure I always have a fresh one on hand.

  7. Good, informative post Vicki! I’ve had the occasional flat pancakes through the years, so now I test or buy often. 🙂

  8. Thanks a lot Vicki for sharing these handy tips. I am sure they will be helpful for so many of your readers. 🙂

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